Michael Pearce

Archery shoot to benefit 9-year-old cancer patient

The staff at Diamond Archery is hoping archers from all across Kansas rally to support Addison, a nine-year-old girl with a grave form of brain cancer. The event is called Arrows for Addison, and is slated to begin at 11 a.m. on April 23, at Diamond Archery.

Ray Manfull, of Diamond, said Addison has endeared herself to the shop’s staff and many regular shooters as she’s participated in one of their youth archery programs for about three years. Manfull said the event is as much a party to celebrate with Addison, as a chance to raise some money to help her parents with upcoming bills

Events include a two-man team archery shoot with half of the prize money going to help Addison’s family. An assortment of items including a guided bowfishing trip and a Mathews bow valued at more than $900 will be raffled or sold by silent auction.

Calling 316-265-0651 can get more information.

More updates

Next Thursday, April 21, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will meet at the Great Plains Nature Center. The afternoon session runs 1-5 p.m. and the evening is 6:30 p.m. until completion. Public comment will be taken on any item at the beginning of each session, and as topics are discussed during the meetings.

Scheduled for debate are considerations to make it illegal to guide hunters, for pay, on any state-managed property or water. That includes state fishing lakes and Walk In Hunting Area properties. A possible change in walleye creel and length limits across much of Kansas will be discussed.

Season dates and daily limits for all kinds of waterfowl will be set at the meeting. In years past such regulations were voted upon in August, but new federal regulations now require states to send in their requests several months earlier. Seasons and limits will closely mirror those from the 2015-2016 Kansas waterfowl seasons.

The meeting can also be watched live on ksoutdoors.com.

Some good reports are coming in from turkey hunters. A lot of youth hunters filled their permits already when their special season opened April 1. Most people report seeing a lot of two-year-old toms, which are usually pretty vulnerable to calling and decoys.

Most fishing reports have been slower than those from a week or so ago. A lot of people say fish appear to be scattered, and that includes most species in our reservoirs. Bass anglers are still doing pretty well in lakes and ponds.

Upcoming coverage

Sunday’s Outdoors page feature will be on the 30th Annual Governor’s Turkey Hunt in El Dorado. To be honest, I’m still not sure who I’ll tag along with on Friday but I’m hopeful I can come up with something good. The hunt always has a plethora of interesting friendships and events. I’m also hoping to have a few more details on the upcoming commission meeting and the event for Addison.

Down the road I’m hoping for a feature on fishing with Doug Meyer. He’s a local angler who loves doing battle with wipers, one of Kansas most powerful fish, with his fly rod. Meyer’s fishes by wading out in areas he’s scouted. He’s studied the sport so much he can normally check the weather and water conditions and tell if it’s going to be a decent day for just fishing or a great day for catching, too.

Today’s Eagle had a feature story on the new, big public shooting range being built at El Dorado State Park. Some residents that live near the range have concerns. Mostly, they’re worried about the noise from the shooting range. Once they hear the construction plans most are confident in the safety of the range.

Michael’s world

As you may have noticed on billboards, signs being towed behind airplanes and the smile on my wife’s face, we are scheduled to become grandparents for the first time in October. Jerrod and Carilyn are expecting a boy early in the month. Since they won’t share what names they’ve selected, the rest of us refer to the next generation as “little XY,” in honor of his chromosomes.

We’ve been ready for this for 10 years, and have patiently waited for our kids to become ready to have children. Jerrod and Carilyn have their act really together as far as solid marriage, great careers, nice house, super attitudes. We weren’t nearly as prepared when we started our family, but it obviously all worked out well.

Speaking of kids, Kathy and I are flying to California in the near future to see Lindsey and her boyfriend, Lance. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing but I’m sure they’ll be plenty of time spent eating, relaxing around their pool and playing with Lady Bird, possibly the most humanized Australian shepherd on the planet.

I’ve been out archery hunting for turkeys three times this year. Last year I only went twice and filled both permits. This year I’m paying for that good success in the past.

I think I’ve had something like 13 jakes or toms within easy archery range of the blind, but something always seems to wrong. I did miss a shot when I rushed things on a bird that looked like the size of small ostrich. I’d like to say he moved just as I released the arrow but I think I just pulled the shot. It happens. Other birds wouldn’t give me an open shot because of brush or they were on the wrong side of the blind. One set-up, I couldn’t shoot because the toms wouldn’t separate far enough that I could be sure I’d only hit one with my arrow.

As Jerrod said when I sent him a text update, “That’s bowhunting.” It is. I could have easily shot three or more different toms with a shotgun Wednesday morning, when firearms season opened.

Through the years I’ve noticed that when I go out with an angling expert for a story, and I’m catching fish and they aren’t, it’s not a good sign. Most times that means the pattern they’ve been using has changed. What they do isn’t working and I luck into a fish or two but never anything great.

So it went on one of two trips I’ve made fishing with Meyer. Walking to the water he stated the wind wasn’t blowing hard enough for his liking. Rather than increasing, it then died to almost nothing. I had one wiper on just long enough to give my fingers a legit line burn from the fish’s first run.

A few minutes later I hooked a fish with decent heft and pull, but not nearly the speed of a wiper. It ended up being a smallmouth bass that measured 20 inches or a little more. I’m pretty confident in the estimate of four pounds, but don’t think it could have been much more than that. That’s a pretty big smallmouth, and my personal best by about two pounds. That it was taken on my favorite fly rod makes it even better.

To be honest, I’d rather had Meyer catch a 24-inch wiper for a better photo fish for the upcoming article. Well, maybe.

Hey, did I mention we’re going to be grandparents in October?


Michael Pearce